By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane, a crazy, loopy mess of an album that rather grows on one:
Hydro Tech Environmental Corp., a full service, integrated environmental consulting firm, has selected Infusion Direct Marketing, a direct marketing consultancy, as its marketing agency of record to coordinate all direct marketing, advertising, public relations, and customer relationship management (CRM) programs for the firm.
Infusion will manage all trade shows, events and sponsorships for the company. Mostafa El Sehamy, Hydro Tech’s President, said the firm is “confident that Infusion Direct Marketing will help us inform customers and prospects about our wide scope of services we provide, including GeoProbe Services, Site Assessments, and Tank Removals.”
Infusion Direct Marketing is a boutique direct marketing consultancy offering comprehensive consulting services including lead generation, direct mail, e-mail, public relations and others.
Dubai-based Bahman group of companies, an established Middle East presence, has announced that it has selected CRM implementation firm Columbus IT, a Microsoft Dynamics Partner, to implement the ERP suite Microsoft Dynamics NAV, as well as “enhance operational efficiency and productivity at all user levels across the organization,” according to Bahman officials.
The Bahman group of companies represents various international brands for small electrical domestic appliances for its wholesale and distribution division and high end tableware and decorative items sold through its retail outlets in the U.A.E.
The group will be replacing its existing legacy system with Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Columbus IT will implement the various modules of Microsoft Dynamics NAV to cover the functionalities of Finance, Inventory, Sales and Service Management.
Ms. Manal Bahman, Executive Director of Bahman group of companies, said as the firm “values customer satisfaction above all other parameters,” we have made it an integral part of our philosophy to deliver superior value to our customers.” The current system was “neither flexible nor scalable enough to keep up with the growth of our organization” Bahman said, adding they “needed to incorporate a new ERP product that would support our mission.”
CRM and other technologies vendor Autonomy Corporation has announced that it has been selected as the preferred partner for enterprise search and meaning-based technologies by Aktive Reply, part of the Reply Group.
The move is designed to “underpin a new initiative focusing on products for the Italian financial services market,” Autonomy officials say. As part of the agreement a products center specifically dedicated to developing these products will be created in Italy.
Aktive Reply is an Italian systems integrator and consultancy for information management products, with particular expertise in the areas of knowledge management and enterprise information portals. Autonomy and Aktive Reply have a partnership already in place, and have worked together on several projects in the government, manufacturing and telecommunications spaces.
Story time: Once upon a time, small business software developer Tower Systems reached 50 percent market penetration of newsagents using computer systems in Australia.
With over 1,400 Australian newsagents using the Tower Systems retail newsagency and newspaper home delivery software, the company had more active customers than all of its competitors combined. Management correctly recognized this as a “mixed blessing.”
Tower CEO Mark Fletcher said on the one hand “this is a wonderful achievement — a testament to our software developers and our support team. On the other hand it is a challenge for us to demonstrate… that we can continue to serve businesses well.”
So to support the customer surge, Tower decided to… use additional customer service personnel in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and install a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) product. Smart move: A foolish company would have said something like “This success validates our operating model, and we look forward to gaining more customers.” Tower said “Help!”
The company has kept grounded in more ways than one — “a turning point for us came in 1996,” Fletcher said. “I bought a newsagency to provide me and my team with a live test site. We still own this business today. Every one of our staff members trains there. We also train some of our customers there (!). Owning this newsagency allows us to walk in the shoes of our customers.”
And they all lived happily ever after.
Altitude Software, a leading independent contact center solutions vendor, has announced today that Technology Marketing Corporation’s Customer Interaction Solutions magazine (www.cismag.com) has named the Altitude IP Contact Center solution as a recipient of a 2007 IP Contact Center Technology Pioneer Award.
Customer Interaction Solutions has been published for the CRM, call center and teleservices industries since 1982.
Altitude IP Contact Center is a native IP solution that streamlines IT investments and optimizes human resources, providing businesses with a SIP-based multimedia contact center solution and a wealth of advanced features, including unified desktops, routing, reporting, dialing, voice portal, management and open integration via Web services and/or Altitude connectors.
“Altitude Software has always prided itself on enabling IP-enabled next-generation customer service for its customers,” said Riadh Boukhris, Altitude Software vice President Middle East and North Africa. “This award is another proof of the recognition our solutions get, specifically in the Middle East and North Africa market, and the quick ROI they provide.’
The 2007 IP Contact Center Technology Pioneer Award recognizes companies that have created “a groundbreaking, successful IP contact center product or service,” according to TMC officials.
“TMC is proud to recognize Altitude Software with an IP Contact Center Technology Pioneer Award. Altitude Software has proven to the editors of Customer Interaction Solutions that its solution Altitude IP Contact Center has been designed with the needs of the contact center market in mind and the potential of IP behind it,” said Nadji Tehrani, Executive Group Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Customer Interaction Solutions.
Were you aware that when customers stand in line, they perceive the time they spend there to be anywhere from 20 to 50 percent greater than it actually is? Or that if they use self-service technology they perceive the wait times to be about 25 percent less than it actually is?
Australian industry observer Jo Best
has reported that “US banking group First Citizens Bank has implemented self-service ‘intelligent’ kiosks from vendor NCR in two of its branches and plans to deploy them across 40 before the end of next year.”
It’s also a golden opportunity for you to present some quick CRM — your customers already think you’re doing them a favor with the self-serve machines, they’re in a good mood, hit ‘em with a pitch or two.
“Nationwide, a UK building society with over 11 million customers,” Best reports, “has also deployed self service technology to cut queues. In future, the organization hopes to deploy more CRM and personalization around the kiosks, which can display advertising during ‘idle’ moments in transactions.” Things like pre-scored products, loans or overdrafts that are already offered, Jason Cockrem, service development manager for Nationwide, told Best.